Author Archives: Bruce Sherwood

Quantum entanglement

A non-physicist friend expressed deep puzzlement about measurements at opposite ends of the Universe being somehow linked. Here I describe what I take to be the current state of theoretical and experimental knowledge about the “spooky action at a distance” … Continue reading

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The Feynman Lectures as textbook

As a young professor at Caltech I was assigned to teach intro physics (1966-1969), and I had the great good fortune to teach intro physics using the “Feynman Lectures on Physics” as the textbook. This experience had a huge impact … Continue reading

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The Higgs boson and prediction in science

An aspect of the discovery of the Higgs boson to celebrate is the possibility of prediction in science — in this case, the prediction that a certain particle should exist so that the world can behave as it does, and … Continue reading

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Neutron decay

Neutrinos undergo only weak interactions, which are associated with slow decays. For example, a neutron (electric charge 0) outside a nucleus (a “free” neutron) decays due to the weak interaction into a proton (electric charge +1), an electron (electric charge … Continue reading

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Work and energy for an accelerating car

Someone wrote to me with questions about work vs pseudowork (extended system vs point-particle system). At one point he asked me to analyze a subsystem of an accelerating car, the car minus the wheels, and I learned something in the … Continue reading

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GlowScript: 3D animations in a browser

You are invited to try out GlowScript (“Graphics Library on Web”), an easy to use 3D programming environment inspired by VPython, but which runs in a browser window. GlowScript has been developed by David Scherer (the originator of VPython) and … Continue reading

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The speed of light in a material

This is in response to the question, “So the speed of light differs depending on medium, right? Is this also true for neutrinos?” This question from a friend was prompted by the recent measurements at CERN suggesting that neutrinos might … Continue reading

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